I recently attended a preview conference for Lifeway’s Big Apple Adventure in Nashville, TN. While there I joined in the excitement of VBS anticipation and preparation. It can be the case for me and I’m sure for many of you that in the hustle and bustle of VBS we focus too much on the physical preparation and push aside the spiritual preparation.
In one of the breakout sessions led by Jerry Vogel, Director of Childhood Ministry Publishing at Lifeway, I learned of some great ideas for helping you and your team be spiritually prepared for VBS this summer no matter which curriculum you have chosen to use.
1. Create a 30 day prayer calendar with specific requests pertaining to your church and its needs for VBS.
2. Prayer Walk
- Have a team of people prayer walk through your church’s neighborhood to pray for children from your community who might attend your VBS.
- Walk through your church campus and pray over each room that will be utilized during VBS week. Pray for the specific activities which will occur in each room and the volunteers who will be serving in each room.
- Pray over the room you will be using while you are setting up for the week.
3. Prayer Cards: Create a bookmark of prayer requests to be included in your church’s weekly bulletin. This will give the larger congregation guidance on specific ways they can be praying for VBS.
1. Teacher Devotions: Create adult devotionals to be used by your VBS volunteers based upon the five stories they will be teaching the children during VBS. These devotionals can be used to prepare their hearts for teaching.
2. Study Bibles: Encourage your volunteers to dig in and study the Bible stories they will be teaching using a study Bible. When teaching children familiar stories it can be tempting to teach with little preparation because you have heard or taught the story many times. The greatest impact on the children will come from a teacher whose heart has been affected by God’s Word through personal study.
3. Adult Bible Study: On the five Sundays leading up to VBS hold a Bible Study for your adult volunteers. On each Sunday teach your volunteers about one of the five VBS Bible stories. The purpose is not to be a training session on how to teach the stories to children, but these meetings should be focused on teaching the adults, so their hearts will be impacted by God’s Word before they teach.
If your VBS curriculum comes with a set of songs to be learned during the week, give a CD to your volunteers in advance. These songs are full of the Biblical truths they will be teaching the children during the week of VBS. It will be of spiritual benefit to your team if they can meditate on the words of the songs before they help teach them to the children.
Scripture Memorization and Meditation:
Inform your team of the theme verse for your VBS curriculum, so they can spend time memorizing it. As they memorize the verse they will be meditating on it and the truth of God’s Word will impact their hearts. You may also encourage your adult volunteers to memorize scripture which supports walking a child through how to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior.